The family of Boston Marathon bombing victim Martin Richard (right) and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (left) walk along Boylston Street after a ceremony at the site of the second bomb blast on the second anniversary of the bombings in Boston, Massachusetts, April 15, 2015. Martin Richard's father Bill (center) smiles as he walks behind his daughter Jane (second from left), son Henry (third from right) and wife Denise (right).

The words of these Boston Marathon bombing victims tell us how to honor the rest

By The BDN Editorial Board on April 18, 2015, at 10:27 a.m.
On Monday, more than 30,000 people will run the 26.2-mile course from Hopkinton, Massachusetts, to downtown Boston. About a million people will line the streets to cheer them on. If all goes as planned, it will be a day of accomplishment, triumph and joy for those who have given their …
Brian Papineau (foreground) of Old Town reaches for an LED light as Sid Sinclair (left), a field representative with the Efficiency Maine lighting program, and Lowe's customer service associate Willy Willette (background) help him make his choice at the Lowe's Home Improvement store on Springer Drive in Bangor.

Fix Efficiency Maine funding with predictability, not bureaucracy

By The BDN Editorial Board on April 17, 2015, at 7:36 a.m.
Want to measure the popularity of a program? Threaten to diminish it and watch interest spike. That’s what happened with Efficiency Maine in recent weeks. In mid-March, the Public Utilities Commission read the law that sets up a new funding system for the quasi-state agency to say that the funding …
A nurse dispenses methadone pills at CAP Quality Care in Westbrook on March 13.

Try alternative addiction treatments before taking away methadone

By The BDN Editorial Board on April 16, 2015, at 12:09 p.m.
There has been a lot of debate in recent months about replacing methadone treatment for opioid addiction with alternatives, such as Suboxone. In his proposed two-year budget, Gov. Paul LePage would end methadone treatment for MaineCare recipients to move them to Suboxone. Many treatment and health care providers warn that …
James Alamillo works up the crowd at a rally staged before the LA City Council vote to ban plastic bags in Los Angeles, California, on May 23, 2012.

Improve plastic bag reduction program before it goes in place elsewhere

By The BDN Editorial Board on April 15, 2015, at 1:26 p.m.
On Wednesday, Portland retailers began charging customers 5 cents for plastic and paper shopping bags. A city ban on polystyrene containers also went into effect. Portland leaders hope the ordinance changes will reduce use of the bags and containers, which clog water systems, choke wildlife and harm the environment in …
Carroll Conley of the Christian Civic league speaks with reporters outside the State House in January 2014 while marshaling support for LD 1428. The bill, which would have allowed individuals and organizations to sue the government if they believe their religious beliefs have been infringed, failed in the Legislature last year.

Religious freedom act in Maine unnecessary, divisive and allows discrimination

By The BDN Editorial Board on April 14, 2015, at 11:14 a.m.
As conservative religious leaders argued — repeatedly — against the inclusion of gays and lesbians in the state’s nondiscrimination laws in the 1990s and 2000s, they claimed that Maine’s LGBT population was seeking “ special rights.” They made the same argument in opposition to same-sex marriage. Now, these critics are …
A film crew led by director Jared Martin (third from right) shoots a scene for "Catatonk Blues" on a wharf on Monhegan Island in September 2013.

Why attracting filmmakers to Maine comes at a steep cost

By The BDN Editorial Board on April 13, 2015, at 11:31 a.m.
“Tumbledown” is a film about a Maine widow that’s set in Maine and produced by Maine filmmakers. It sounds like the ideal feature film to be shot and produced in Maine. Instead, Concord, Massachusetts, is the film’s stand-in for Farmington. Webb Lake in nearby Weld is played by Lost Lake …
Dr. David Drohan (right) works on a patient with dental assistant Jamie Sawtelle (left) at the Penobscot Community Health Center in Bangor in this 2009 BDN file photo. The center has received a federal grant that will allow a residency program for general practice dentists.

State investment in primary care no replacement for Medicaid expansion, but it will help

By The BDN Editorial Board on April 11, 2015, at 9:55 a.m.
As the Gov. Paul LePage administration has repeatedly emphasized, primary care is an integral part of helping Mainers improve their health. The state should make an investment in its primary care centers, which fill gaps — both geographic and financial — in the state’s health care system. One in seven …

Democrats take Maine’s tax debate in the right direction

By The BDN Editorial Board on April 10, 2015, at 12:01 p.m.
For three months, Gov. Paul LePage has driven the debate in Augusta and across the state with his proposal to overhaul Maine’s tax code. Now, Democratic leaders in the Legislature have put forward something more than opposition: They’ve released a tax plan of their own that moves the entire conversation …
Panelists Daryl DeJoy (from left), director of Wildlife Alliance of Maine; Anita Coupe of Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting; Judy Camuso, Wildlife Division Director for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife; and James Cote, campaign manager for Save Maine’s Bear Hunt and Management Programs, answer questions posed by the audience at the television town hall debate on the bear baiting referendum on Sept. 4, 2014.

Don’t silence public on hunting, wildlife

By The BDN Editorial Board on April 09, 2015, at 12:53 p.m.
Just months after Maine voters rejected a ballot initiative to ban the baiting, hounding and trapping of bears, the Humane Society of the United States said it likely would launch another campaign to limit bear hunting through a citizens’ initiative. Frustration and fatigue over this issue among hunters, guides, voters …
This is a sample photo EBT card. In April 2014, the state of Maine launched a test program in Bangor for a new system of putting photos on EBT cards.

The $7.17 problem: Democrats shouldn’t join in LePage’s welfare ‘reform’ foolishness

By The BDN Editorial Board on April 08, 2015, at 12:31 p.m.
Gov. Paul LePage on Monday unveiled his “welfare reform” agenda for the legislative session — largely a collection of recycled measures he couldn’t get past a Democratic Legislature last year. The measures throw up hurdles before someone in poverty can qualify for assistance, impose restrictions on how they can use …
South Portland Police Chief Edward Googins speaks in opposition a bill to abolish Maine’s concealed weapons permitting process in 2013. Googins said his department had recently denied a dozen applicants.

No need to change Maine’s gun safety tradition

By The BDN Editorial Board on April 07, 2015, at 1:21 p.m.
More than half the Legislature has signed on to a bill that would allow the concealed carry of guns without a permit. These lawmakers should check with gun owners and law-enforcement officials. A recent poll, conducted by Goodwin Simon Strategic Research on behalf of Everytown for Gun Safety and Maine …
Fourth-grader Sydney Smoot voices her opposition to the Florida State Assessment to the Hernando County, Florida, school board on March 17.

Why politicians should follow a fourth-grader’s lead on education policy

By The BDN Editorial Board on April 06, 2015, at 1:42 p.m.
When fourth-grader Sydney Smoot made her opposition to the Florida State Assessment known to the Hernando County, Florida, school board last month, she became an online sensation. The YouTube video of her impassioned speech has garnered almost a million views. While the 9-year-old was voicing her opposition to testing, she …
Public writer, or scrivener, in the great square of Mexico from the book "Costumes civils, militaires et réligieux du Mexique." Painting by Claudio Linati, 1828.

It’s really simple: ‘And’ is a 3-letter word, not another Cabinet agency

By The BDN Editorial Board on April 04, 2015, at 1:33 p.m.
As expected, Republican leaders in the Maine Legislature have used an acknowledged drafting error in a law regarding energy efficiency funding to bargain for big changes in energy policy rather than just fix the one-word mistake. On Thursday, House Minority Leader Ken Fredette announced he had a proposal to restore …
Inmates wait in holding at the Penobscot County Jail in Bangor.

Giving up on coordinated jail system is shortsighted

By The BDN Editorial Board on April 03, 2015, at 11:44 a.m.
Returning control of the state’s jails to the counties is the easiest way to end the current debate over the failures of an effort to coordinate the management and funding of these correctional facilities through a partnership with the state. But if lawmakers turn their backs on years’ worth of …
Adam Bates shows the Bloomberg terminal in a computer lab at University of Maine in Orono on Nov. 12, 2013.

Maine universities have $1.75 million to strengthen business, law degrees. Make the most of it

By The BDN Editorial Board on April 02, 2015, at 11:52 a.m.
The University of Maine System has hired two-time independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler to make the case for its new venture, but also to devise exactly what that new venture is. We know its broad outlines: Unify, well sort of, the university system’s two graduate business programs (located in Orono …
New Volvo V60 D5 Twin Engine Special Edition diesel hibryd car is seen during the first press day ahead of the 85th International Motor Show in Geneva March 3, 2015.

From Volvo, a few lessons on job creation for Maine

By The BDN Editorial Board on April 01, 2015, at 12:19 p.m.
Volvo is taking steps to re-establish its brand in the U.S. and turn around sluggish sales here that have dropped by more than half since 2004. Building a $500 million factory in the U.S., where some of its chief European rivals already have a manufacturing foothold, is part of the …
Gov. Paul LePage

Not a dictatorship: Maine should be a place based on laws, not LePage’s whims

By The BDN Editorial Board on March 31, 2015, at 1:19 p.m.
Gov. Paul LePage was easily re-elected in November and he will no doubt leave his mark on the state and its government. However, this doesn’t give him license to ignore existing state laws or policies. After refusing to sign off on the issuance of bonds approved by voters years ago …
Bob Fischer, with his children, Isabelle, 8, Emma and Carson, both 14, and wife Brenda, of Barretown, Vermont, watch fireworks at Old Orchard Beach in August 2011.

Towns need local option taxes if revenue sharing cut or eliminated

By The BDN Editorial Board on March 30, 2015, at 11:50 a.m.
In most other states, towns and cities can levy taxes. It is time for Maine to allow local option taxes as well. This is especially the case as Gov. Paul LePage works to eliminate municipal revenue sharing, a long-standing agreement that allocates 5 percent of state sales and income tax …
A drafting error could cut Efficiency Maine funding by $36 million.

A simple fix rejected: Reopening energy law a cynical move

By The BDN Editorial Board on March 28, 2015, at 11:01 a.m.
The fix to a drafting error in the law governing funding for Efficiency Maine is so simple and straightforward that lawmakers could be on their way to correcting it. Instead, because of opposition from Republican leaders, the error is likely to be used as an excuse to change other things …
John Bapst Memorial High School is seen Monday, March 23, in Bangor.

At John Bapst, it will be OK to trust again

By The BDN Editorial Board on March 27, 2015, at 8:12 a.m.
The students, parents and staff at John Bapst Memorial High School have endured a difficult week as they have started to come to grips with news that a well-regarded teacher committed suicide in a Bangor hotel room after police started investigating allegations that he solicited nude photos from a student. …
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